Adair & Russell Students in LWC Energy Program Earn National Award
Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2010 [3:14 PM]
Students of the LWC Energy Technology Career Academy are joined by
at the Frankfort Civic Center after receiving the National
High School Rookie of the Year
award from the National Energy Education Development
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A group of students from Adair and
Russell county high schools received national recognition Thursday
for their work with solar energy.
Students of the Lindsey Wilson College Energy Technology Career
Academy received the National High School Rookie of the Year award
from the National
Energy Education Development Project.
The students -- who also received several state awards --
received the national honor at the annual meeting of Kentucky NEED, which is an affiliate of the
By winning the award, the students advance to the NEED National
Youth Awards, which will be held June 25-28 in Washington, D.C.
"I'm overwhelmed. I never expected the students to be named
National Rookie of the Year," said ETCA Director Heather Spoon.
"I'm so proud of the kids."
The ETCA earned the national award for of their solar project at
Adair and Russell county high schools. Led by Spoon, the students
built solar panels for under $100 and also installed solar array
panels on the roof of both high schools to conduct a solar-energy
feasibility project. Spoon
blogs about the projects, which received special
acknowledgement from the NEED judges.
"We didn't work on the project to win an award, we did it to
learn more about solar energy," Spoon said. "The project was a lot
of work, but it was worth it to see the kids be excited about
finishing a solar panel."
Founded in 2008 by Lindsey Wilson, the ETCA enrolls students at
Adair and Russell county high schools. Classes are taught by Spoon
and other Lindsey Wilson faculty. The ETCA is funded through grants
from Siemens Industry Inc., the Appalachian Regional Commission,
Lindsey Wilson, and more than a dozen Adair and Russell county
NEED is a nonprofit education association. Created in 1980, NEED
provides information to students and teachers about the scientific,
economic and environmental implications of energy.
Russell County High School junior Travone Taylor said the award
"is such a great achievement and tribute to Mrs. Spoon."
"She has really put her heart and soul into this," said Taylor,
who has been in the program for two years. "It's great to see her
dreams come true for us."
Taylor said being enrolled in the ETCA has been a life-changing
experience for him.
"I have gotten a wealth of opportunities that I have put on my
applications, and it's opened career paths that I never knew were
possible," he said.
Adair County High School junior J.D. Coomer said being enrolled
in ETCA has helped him see into the future.
"This is our future," said Coomer, who has been in the program
for two years. "This is what's going to be happening in the next
20, 50 years. This will create jobs for everybody."
In addition to learning about energy, the ETCA has also taught
Coomer lessons in leadership.
"I like the teamwork, and this made me realize what it takes to
be a true leader in a group," he said.
Coomer said he hopes the success of the ETCA will cause more
teachers to incorporate energy in their classes. But for now, he
and his fellow students are looking forward to the NEED National
"I'm looking forward going to Washington to present this --
hopefully we can change some minds about solar energy," he
Spoon said the ETCA students plan a fund-raising drive to
help pay for their trip to the NEED National Youth Awards in
Washington, D.C. To learn about more about the fund-raising drive,
contact Spoon at email@example.com or (270) 378-1215.